The founder of AdLab was Mr. Joseph Ralph Adams. Mr. Adams told me that the original name was Adams Laboratories but after a little bit of time he cut it down to AdLab. It was a very small company founded in 1972 at his home located in Farnworth, Lancashire, England. His business was primarily concerned with PH Meter and chemistry laboratory related products. I was able to speak with him twice by telephone in February of 2015. He had just had his 89th birthday on January 15th, 2015.

The photo above is from the AdLab catalog and shows three members of the Adlab team examining the Braun Buchlabor model. Mr. Adams is on the far right.

Mr. Adams learned about the Lectron System from a friend of his, Dr. Dennis Beard, the founder of Ideas for Education. Mr. Adams was shown the Braun Buchlabor model and was very taken with it. Dr. Beard asked Mr. Adams if he would be interested in selling the Lectron System product line to buyers in his region. Mr. Adams said yes and thus began a 15 year relationship of selling the Lectron System.

Interestingly, he did not buy from Mr. Manfred Walter‘s  Lectron, GmbH. He was content to order through Ideas for Education, which is why he had IE part numbers for all the Lectron System models and parts. He did create his own AdLab catalog however.  Unfortunately, Mr. Adams did not retain any of the old AdLab documentation.  I was very fortunate to find the AdLab Lectron System catalog and it is available for viewing by a Google Drive link on the Resellers -> Documentation page.

When the Beard family moved to Northern Ireland, Mr. Adams lost touch with him and had not spoken to Dr. Beard for over 30 years. Mr. Adams was not aware of Dr. Beard’s passing in December of 2014.

Adlab continued to grow between the years of 1972 to 1992. The Adlab business went into professional premises on top of a bank for six to seven years and employed five people. Adlab then moved to a factory, paying rent, close to Mr. Lloyd Ellot‘s home.

Mr. Adams had a heart attack in 1992 which accelerated his retirement date and the selling of the company to Mr. Lloyd Elliot that same year.

in 2001, Adlab split into two companies with the same name. Mr. Elliot headed one of the two (Adlab Services Ltd.). In November of 2013, Mr. Elliot retired from the company.

Mr. Adams was a delight to speak with and could not have been more gracious to me. He still felt very passionate about the Lectron System being the best way to teach electronics to children.

On 06-JUL-2015, I received a delightful note from him with a better quality photo and his business card.

Update:  2017-JUN-26

I am very sorry to report Mr. Adams’ passing at the age of 90 (the notice says 84, but Mr. Adams told me about recently celebrating his 89th birthday in January of 2015) around February 19th of 2016 from his long standing heart condition. I only learned of this news on 2017-JUN-26 after having written an email the day before to a neighbor of his (Mr. Tim Hall) inquiring after Mr. Adams’ well-being. Mr. Adams was a gentleman and pioneer well known for his numerous contributions and for being one of the two original English resellers of the Lectron System during the Manfred Walter era. Mr. Adams will be greatly missed.